Category Archives: Awards and accolades

Le Pont de la Tour wins ‘best wine list’ and ‘Sommelier of the Year’ Award


Nicolas Clerc, Head Sommelier from Le Pont de la Tour has just won the prestigious Best Wine List and Sommelier Award at the Tatler Restaurant Awards 2010.

With more than 900 bins from France, and many others from around the world, Le Pont de la Tour certainly has an impressive list and well deserves the award!

As per my previous blog post Nicolas Clerc also organises regular wine tastings in the Wine Cellar at Le Pont de la Tour, including informal tastings every Saturday afternoon.


English vodka voted best in the world


Ever heard of Tyrrell‘s crisps?  Well the founder, Mr. Chase, has just won an award, but not for his crisps, for his vodka!

In the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the English brand Chase was voted the no 1 Vodka brand in the world.  Chase Vodka was selected by 30-strong election team, in a blind tasting.

I am sure it was thanks to the fact that the drink was made from freshly grown potatoes on Mr. Chase’s farm in Herefordshire.

Phaidon crowned best cookbook publisher in the world


Judges at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, recently held in Paris, have crowned Phaidon the number one cookbook publisher in the world!

Totally well deserved in my eyes, especially looking at the most recent cookbook to come from the company – Coco – my new all time favourite.

As well as Coco, Phaidon is the publisher of many other top cook books including ‘The Silver Spoon’, deemed the most successful Italian cookbook of the last 50 years, and Spanish home cooking best seller ‘1080 Recipes’.

The jury at the awards cited “the creative design, enormous investment in quality production, inventive concepts, and distribution power in many languages” as the reasons behind Phaidon’s success.

The news gets better though, because in the next few months, Phaidon will publish two new cookbooks: ‘Recipes from an Italian Summer’ and ‘The Book of Tapas’.  Also ‘A Day at elBulli’ will be published in paperback.  Can’t wait!


Michelin star awarded to canteen in Hong Kong


It just proves that you can eat amazing food at affordable prices when a canteen in Hong Kong, serving dim sum at only 80 pence, is awarded a Michelin star.

When the global downturn hit, Mak Pui Gor, who previously worked at the Four Seasons Hotel restaurant, decided that there was a gap in the market to open a canteen serving delicious food at bargain prices and has been rightly awarded for doing so.

Tim Ho Wan, a small canteen seating only 20 people, serves affordable dim sum and is so popular that people regularly queue for an hour to eat the delights of Mak Pui Gor.

The most expensive dish in the restaurant is a plate of noodles at less than £3.00. Michelin Guide director, Jean-Luc Naret, highlighted the restaurant as being the “most affordable starred restaurant in the world”.

Please, please, please can we have one in London – pretty please with cherries on the top?

The Co-op is crowned ‘People’s Choice Supermarket’ as it wins prestigious animal welfare award



Last night, The RSPCA held its prestigious Good Business Awards ceremony in central London, which revealed the public’s favourite ethical supermarket.

The aim of these awards, now in their fifth year, is to encourage businesses to implement policies that will have a positive impact on animal welfare, so massive congratulations to The Co-op who is now crowned ‘People’s Choice Supermarket’, with 59 percent of the votes!

The Co-operative - Ian Burgess, Robert McBride picking up their award

The Co-operative - Ian Burgess, Robert McBride picking up their award

This year, The RSPCA partnered with daily newspaper, The Independent, who offered the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite animal-friendly supermarket – the one they felt was putting animal welfare first. The shortlist, chosen by a panel of judges, was announced in August and the public were able to vote for Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s or The Co-operative – I have included their principle achievements below, but the clear winner was Co-operative, making the biggest strides to improve animal welfare – Rock on Co-op!

Sainsbury’s should also be proud to have received the award for most improved supermarket, for its continued commitment to deliver on animal welfare values and principles, including having the largest range of Freedom Food labelled products.

David Bowles, Head of External Affairs for the RSPCA said, “Through the People’s Choice Award we wanted to give the public a chance to voice their opinions and reward the supermarket they believe has listened to them and made the biggest strides in improving animal welfare… in the eyes of the public the Co-operative was the clear winner taking over half of the vote. This is the fifth year of the Good Business Awards and we felt it was important to reward the efforts being made by supermarkets that go the extra mile to promote animal welfare and recognise that consumers haven’t left behind their concerns for good animal welfare practices in a quest for value.”

Here is a short summary of the three finalist’s achievements:


  • All whole and ingredient eggs free-range
  • All fresh chicken free-range, or higher welfare standards
  • All fresh pork outdoor-bred
  • Continental white veal banned in 2008


  • All whole eggs free-range
  • Own eggs/chicken brand improves shelter for birds
  • Largest range of RSPCA Freedom Food products
  • All Scottish salmon sustainably sourced and Freedom Food approved

The Co-operative

  • All whole eggs free-range
  • All fresh and frozen chicken reared to higher welfare standards
  • First to adopt RSPCA Freedom Food in 1994
  • Own-label Freedom Food approved pork ranges

These are all fantastic achievements, but I had hoped that all supermarkets would be working to this level by now – clearly not – so shame on the others for not making it to the finals!

There were three overall categories, Cosmetics, Fashion and Food – I have pasted a list of the winners in the food category below, but details on the others can be found on the award’s website.

Food winners

Independent Restaurants

* Restaurant Alimentum Winner


* The Duke of Cambridge Winner

* The Feathers Inn Innovation Award

Restaurant Chains

* McDonalds Innovation Award

Food Studies page

* Edge and Son Winners

* Abel and Cole Highly Commended


* The Co-Operative Peoples Choice Supermarket

* Sainsbury’s Most Improved

Unilever does it again – named industry leader in Dow Jones Sustainability Index


Not satisfied with topping the EnvirUp eco-index, Unilever has yet again come top in another index – this time it’s the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  

Unilever took the top spot in the food and beverage industry beating others on its corporate economic, environmental and social performance.  

The company was assessed for its handling of issues such as corporate governance, risk management, branding, climate change mitigation, supply chain standards and labor practices. 

This was Unilever’s 11th consecutive year as the industry leader – so congrats to the big U! 


Haribo branded worst on eco-index while Unilever is awarded green crown


Haribo has just come bottom in a new eco index that looks at the impact british grocery brands have on the environment – so it’s going straight off my shopping list – and is promptly being replaced by masses of Quality Street.

Researchers at environmental consultancy EnvirUP and Nottingham University worked together to evaluate 100 products looking at packaging, airmiles, energy used in production, fairtrade ingredients etc.  

Unilever products were awarded the eco crown with Persil and PG Tips coming first and second.  Muller Light and Haribo Jellies, shame on you for coming 99 and 100th respectively.

Full list is below:

Top 10 
1. Persil Laundry
2. PG Tips 
3. Finish 
4. Volvic 
5. Kellogg’s Special K 
6. Surf 
7. Ribena 
8. Quality Street 
9. Ariel 
10. Evian

Bottom 10 
91. Red Bull
92. Clover Spreads
93. Richmond Sausages
94. John West Canned Fish
95. Warburtons
96. Young’s Chilled Fish
97. Cathedral City
98. Muller Corner
99. Muller Light 
100. Haribo Gums & Jellies